Although she lives in Philadelphia, Judith Schaechter is not to be confused with the author of the Skippyjon Jones children's books about a whimsical kitten who imagines he is a chihuahua. Schaechter works in stained glass, and her pieces are considerably darker.
"I think that my work, subject matter wise, it is really in keeping with the tradition of images of martyrs…the everyday martyrs," Schaechter told writer Leah Hood on a tour of her studio last fall. "I want to speak in that language [of suffering] about what is beautiful in life."
Hood was interviewing artists as part of a blog series on "late style" for the Philadelphia Chamber Music Society. We wanted to learn how creative people think when their careers are established and their work is mature.
"I think my whole process has been one of surrendering my ego time and time again," Schaechter said. As a young artist, “I was like a child. I believed that my work was really good and that people would want to look at it. ... I was in my 30s when I started being able to see that my work was somehow flawed. This was devastating to me.”
"I’m not making my work for myself," Schaechter says now. "I‘m not pandering to an audience, but if my work isn’t resonating with other people I feel like I’ve failed."